A bespoke business management system is a piece of software that is created for an organisation to help solve the specific challenges it faces. Formed around the company’s processes and procedures, the software is unique to the business, incorporating even the internal terminology used by team members on a day-to-day basis. A comprehensive system will touch almost all parts of the company and provide leadership with a real-time understanding of current and future operational challenges.
In this article, we look at why you might need a bespoke system, the roles they take and how one might benefit your business.
Why you might need a bespoke system
There are lots of reasons why you might engage with a software developer to have a bespoke application created for you, but in our experience, the businesses which most often need one are those that are thriving. Successful companies that have grown organically over several years have a habit of creating disconnected processes and information silos along the way. Just because they’re successful doesn’t mean they are a model of efficiency. In fact, in a lot of cases, the busier and more successful a business is the harder it is to take a step back and practice what we call “joined-up thinking” when presented with operational issues.
Efficiency is paramount
At the heart of every business, regardless of size or complexity of offering, is the need to turn a profit. While there are countless reasons for having a bespoke piece of software created for you, they almost always boil down to improving efficiency and allowing you to do more with the resources you have. A business management system helps you plan for the future, manage opportunities and grow your company further.
Types of bespoke software systems
As they’re bespoke, these software systems can do a variety of things, but typically they’ll perform some or most of the following:
Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRM software is a technology that’s used to manage interactions with customers and potential customers.
Business process automation (BPA)
BPA often referred to as ”Digital Transformation” is the automation of business processes using technology.
Invoicing and accounts
All businesses raise invoices and have accounts, and a bespoke software system will often interact with that process.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
ERP is a piece of software that manages day-to-day business operations such as accounting, procurement and project management, to name a few.
Management information system (MIS)
MIS provides reports and data visualisation to allow management to make effective decisions in real-time.
Human resource management system
Human resource management systems usually look after things such as holiday scheduling and expenses management.
Bespoke software vs off-the-shelf packages
So at this point, we’ve established you’re a successful company that’s been around for a while, and your team uses a variety of tools, such as spreadsheets, shared documents and other applications to get their work done. You’re the operations manager, director or company owner and recognise that there are inefficiencies in the business, so the logical next step is to see if off-the-shelf software might fit the bill.
The trouble with off-the-shelf software
Firstly, there are many off-the-shelf packages to choose from, and of course, the type of software you want will depend on your requirements. Invariably you’ll select a platform that promises to solve the majority of your issues, so if you have trouble keeping track of opportunities and prospects, a CRM might be the best fit. Equally, if you want something that manages the whole business and helps with forecasting, then an ERP system might suit. The difficulty with either of these options is that they have been designed to solve generic problems that many businesses face – not the unique challenges you’re facing. What that means is that, alongside the license fee, you’ll need to invest in a significant amount of consulting from the vendor to “bend” their software to your requirements. Even with that additional work, you’re likely to find that the software still doesn’t fit your business correctly and there’ll be a need for other systems and spreadsheets.
A bespoke system is an investment of time and money
There are significant benefits to having a bespoke system created for you, but something we need to be upfront about is that to get the best results, you’ll need to invest both time and money into its creation. While developers like ourselves will do most of the heavy lifting, we’ll need to work very closely with you and your team to ensure the software fits around your business. At the least, that’ll mean regular meetings with not only the leadership of the company but other key stakeholders too. In our humble opinion, and having seen the benefits of a bespoke system, it’s worth the investment, but we wanted to point that out before we go on to describe all of the great things a bespoke system can do for you.
Benefits of a bespoke business management system
The primary benefit of a bespoke software solution (as we’ve already alluded to) is improved efficiency. By having a piece of software designed just for you, processes are simplified, issues solved, and departments connected. Information will flow freely between teams, and management will get the birds eye view they need to make vital decisions.
The areas where you can expect improvements
- Planning and forecasting
- Scheduling and resourcing
Rather than us selling you on the all of benefits of such a system, here is what one of our clients had to say on their new application:
"“The system not only integrates with our workflows and processes but improves them. Our staff have full and instant
access to all the information they need to make their jobs easier, to improve our operations and ultimately to increase
efficiency and profitability. It will change the way we do business.”"
Conor Mullan – Managing Director of Think Research
With over 15 years of experience delivering software solutions to businesses in and around Bournemouth, we’re perfectly positioned to assist you with your project. We’re a close-knit team of experts who all play key roles in delivering bespoke business systems. From the outset, we’ll take the time to get under the skin of your business and the issues you face, so that the end product is as close to perfect as possible.
To learn more about us and the way we do things, please visit our about us page.